Wolff: Mercedes’ problem is not Lewis Hamilton

The Mercedes team boss has defended Lewis Hamilton's poor results, as he endures one of the worst starts to a season in his Formula 1 career


Team principal Toto Wolff is adamant Lewis Hamilton is not the problem for Mercedes, insisting the car is what’s let them down in the opening four rounds of the 2022 Formula 1 season.

Hamilton appears to be far from his best after being comfortably beaten by George Russell at the Saudi Arabian and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and also finished behind his new teammate in Australia, although that was mainly due to the timing of the safety car.

Defending champion Max Verstappen lapped Hamilton last time out at Imola, underling Mercedes’ struggles this year.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

“I have to protect him [Hamilton],” Wolff told reporters. “It’s not him, it’s the bad bouncing on our the car.

“We know he’s a seven-time world champion. Last year we fought for a title that was lost on Saturday in Brazil.

“He is the best driver in the world and does not have the machine to deliver. It is irrelevant whether he finishes eighth, 12th or 15th, it does not matter.

“It’s all wrong but it happens to everyone. We are together in the good and bad.”

Will Mercedes get back to the front

Since 2022 pre-season testing, Mercedes have had big problems with porpoising which they believe is the issue which is costing them up to one second of performance.

Mercedes’ team principal Toto Wolff before 2022 Bahrain GP REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Wolff revealed if Mercedes cannot solve the problem, there are development paths which they can explore, so he isn’t giving up yet despite a title challenge looking a long way away.

“The fundamental flaw that eclipses everything is that the car has more porpoising than the others,” said Wolff.

“Therefore, we can’t make it as low as we should, and that has ramifications in the set-up, the grip of the tyres, etc.

“Everything is related and if we were able to solve the porpoising, we would unlock many more features.

“If we don’t, there are conventional developments that we haven’t exploited yet. I want us to take some time before we decide what to do.”

Nigel Chiu
Nigel Chiuhttps://total-motorsport.com/author/nigel-chiu/
Nigel Chiu is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who worked at Total-Motorsport for 18 months until May 2023. He has been following F1 since 2007 and hasn’t missed a Grand Prix weekend since. Nigel’s worked with several motorsport websites, plus Eurosport and subsequently went on to work with Sky Sports F1 where he travels to multiple F1 races each season.
- Advertisment -


Liam Lawson prepares for free practice at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix | Peter Fox/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull bosses agree on Liam Lawson F1 prospects in 2025

Christian Horner and RB CEO Peter Bayer refused to back Liam Lawson's prospects for a full-time Formula 1 drive...
Carlos Sainz looks on at the 2024 Monaco GP | Ferrari

After Carlos Sainz’s Mercedes denial, why does his future remain an enigma?

Ferrari swinging the axe on Carlos Sainz's career in scarlet must have stung, but the Spaniard at least had...
Charles Leclerc dives into the Monaco harbour | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Where does Charles Leclerc rank 2024 Monaco Grand Prix win?

Charles Leclerc is a race winner for the first time in almost two years as the Ferrari ace crushed...
Charles Leclerc celebrates winning the 2024 Monaco GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

What we learned from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix may not have served up a classic, but it wasn’t short on storylines as...
Sergio Perez talks to his engineer Hugh Bird and team principal Christian Horner in the garage | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Look away Checo – Horner praises Perez’s F1 rival as star fights for Red...

Christian Horner insists Red Bull will make a decision about Sergio Perez's Red Bull future "in the fullness of...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers of 2024 Monaco GP

Charles Leclerc vanquished his Monte Carlo demons to finally take victory at his home race, while Red Bull continued...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Monaco GP 2024

Charles Leclerc was in dreamland as the Ferrari driver finally celebrated an elusive victory at home race at the...
Josef Newgarden drinks his milk after winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: James Black

2024 Indy 500 Race Results

Josef Newgarden joined an elite group of drivers by winning the Indy 500 for the second consecutive year in...
Josef Newgarden celebrates winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Amber Pietz

Newgarden takes sensational Indy 500 win after epic battle for glory

The Indianapolis 500 never fails to excite and even a four-hour rain delay couldn't dampen the drama for IndyCar's...
Tom Blomqvist crashes in Lap 1 at the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Aaron Skillman

2024 Indy 500: Results and Highlights as Newgarden wins

Welcome to this Total Motorsport live blog for the 2024 Indy 500, is among the most prestigious motorsport events...
- Advertisment -